JOHN ASKEY has spoken of his delight at York City’s turnaround from an ‘embarrassment’ to fans to being on the cusp of promotion this weekend.

York City will host Boston United on Saturday (3pm) in the final of the Vanarama National League North play-offs.

City were 11th in the division when Askey took over in November and the former Macclesfield Town boss has been able to turn the club into a genuine promotion contender.

“When I first came in, I think that there was a bit of an embarrassment towards the team and that was reflected in the shouts from the supporters,” noted Askey.

“When we started to win, I think that they felt that they could get behind the team and they were desperate to do that, but I think prior to that there was a bit of embarrassment.

“Hopefully we can give them a team that they’re proud of.

City eventually became one of the form sides in the division under Askey, going on a 12-game unbeaten run in the midst of the season to solidify their status as a top seven side.

Although automatic promotion looked a target for a time, the Minstermen eventually faltered slightly and settled into a play-off spot which, earlier in the campaign, hardly seemed attainable.

“When I came in, I was hoping we could reach the play-offs but after a month, I thought it was a long way off.

“I’m just really pleased now that we’ve got here.”

Askey initially arrived in York on a temporary basis, joining as part of Steve Watson’s management team.

He was part of Watson’s staff for one game, a 0-0 draw with Curzon Ashton, before taking over as interim manager after Watson left the club.

“That was why I first came in, when Steve (Watson) asked me to come in and help him,” said Askey.

“I knew the potential that the club had and it’s nice to be at a club where you have got the potential to go higher, I’ve not really had that before with the budgets that I’ve had at other clubs.

“To be at a club where you can be fighting at the top-half of the table, without performing miracles, then that’s nice.

“I’d prefer to be at York City, rather than one of the lower teams. We’re full-time and you’ve got to use that advantage.

“You’ve got to have players that will stand up mentally. When you’ve got better players and you’re right mentally and you’re fit, then every game we’ve got a great chance of winning.”

Askey was at the helm when York chairman Jason McGill issued an apologetic statement after a 3-0 home loss to Bradford Park Avenue.

The chairman explained that results had “hit new lows” and that he was committed to steering the club “out of the rut “ they found themselves in.

“That was probably a bit of a turning point,” reflected Askey.

“If you watch the Bradford game back, every time they went down our end of the pitch, they scored and we couldn’t put the ball in the net, even though I thought we played some really good football, especially early on.

“When they score, it gets the crowd on your back and it becomes frustrating.

“It (then) seemed a million miles away from getting in the play-offs, but I still believed that we had as good a set of players as anyone else in the league but on that particular night, things just didn’t go for us.”